Tag Archives: Chess

The World’s Five Most Expensive Chess Boards

Jewel Royale Chess Set

1 This chess set was manufactured in 2005 by the order of the British Jewelry Company Boodles, and with its estimated value of 9.8 million US Dollars it is currently the most expensive chess set in the world. Next to gold and platinum are gemstones, such as diamonds, rubies, pearls, and sapphires materials used in this masterpiece. Only the King is decorated with 146 diamonds and 73 rubies. Unfortunately, nobody has expressed their interest in buying the unique set until now. Luckily, the company had only ordered for the king produced so far. The price was reduced to 1.7 million US Dollars and in case a buyer is finally found the rest of the set will be manufactured and delivered within 4 months’ time.

Art of War Chess Set

2A luxurious set made of gold, rhodium, and gemstones. The manufacturer offers to individually design the ‘clothes’ of the pieces and to embellish them with gemstones. The golden feet upon which the board is standing is formed like real feet. On his website, the seller describes this set as an incredible gift for a special person. This is definitely the case, as its price amounts to 750,000 US Dollars.

Charles Hollander Diamond Chess Set

3Not only the materials, but also the handicraft of this 500,000 US Dollar chess set are remarkable. Bernard Maquin produced this breathtaking board in 2005. Thirty workers spent 4,500 hours of their precious time on this little piece of art that holds 1,186.75 grams white gold (14 carat) and black and white diamonds of almost 186.09 carat in more than 9,000 individual parts.

Carolingi XVI

4This chess set was designed by Piero Benzoni. The pieces are made from gold and silver and were fashioned in detail and represent the Turks and their enemies, the Karolinger, in the 9th century. With the help of the war horses, watch towers, and warriors equipped with shields and weapons you can easily recreate war scenes – if you are ready to spend 113,600 US Dollars first. This set can also be an eye-catching and decadent accessory in the salon of every rich person, even if they are incapable of playing checkmate.

Renault F1 Team Collection Chess Set

5The cheapest of the expensive chess sets: For 42,000 US Dollars a Formula 1 fan amongst us can become proud owner of this exceptional chess board. We admit: This idea is quite creative: All pieces were made from a Renault Formula 1 race car. Materials like stainless steel, aluminum, titan, and carbon fiber and the extraordinary and modern design make this this set so exclusive.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe


Which Chess World Champion Are You?

Today on Chessimo you will find out which Chess world Champion you are most similar to. For that you only need to take a few minutes; read the questions and note the colors of the answers you choose (multiple answers allowed).

The color you choose most often will reveal the chess personality you are closest to (see below). But hey! – Don’t cheat! Look at the characters only in the very end.

Are you ready? Then let’s go!


When did you begin to play chess?

  • At four years old when I watched adults play
  • The basic rules I was taught at five, the enthusiasm came at an age of 8
  • With fire and flames as a five year-old


What description of looks suits you most?

  • I often wear patterns such as polka dots, stripes, or checks
  • I often wear my hair in side parting and am barely ever seen without a tie
  • I like being the ‘Bad Boy’ who wears messy hair and pouty lips


You just secured an important victory. How do you celebrate?

  • Out of joy and happiness I jump into the next pool – in full gear
  • Like I would tell you!!
  • I go out for pizza with friends and drink to my victory with a glass of red wine


What – besides chess – do you have a weakness for?

  • Travelling, Italian food, or beer
  • Philately, Japanese Food, or history
  • Soccer, Rammstein, or online poker


Which quote could have been yours?

  • “Chess is mental torture”
  • “Chess can become an obsession, there is a chance of drifting into a parallel world and getting lost in the eternal cosmos of the game”
  • “Harmony on the board beats risk”


You are unhappy with politics in your country. What do you do?

  • I cannot imagine becoming politically active
  • I become a member of the parliament and chairman of a peace fund
  • I write critical comments for newspapers, organize demonstrations and manifestations


What is your playing style?

  • Universal, no obvious weaknesses, no risks
  • Dynamic, aggressive, belligerent
  • Intuitive, no rigid opening, strong in end game


What is your family status?

  • I am with my second wife and have two children
  • I am a long-term single and don’t want to be distracted by anyone
  • I married three times and have (at least) three children who I admit are mine


Your opponent at the board puts you under severe pressure. What is there to observe in your face?

  • With my bad temper I lose my poise
  • I keep my poker face and stay friendly and calm
  • I look coldhearted and serious. Always.


What area could you imagine yourself becoming active in next to your job?

  • I would like to model for a cool denim brand and play myself in movies
  • I would like to found a consulting company for aviation and advocate human rights
  • I would like to help children in need and become a UNICEF ambassador


RED | You are Anatoli Karpov


Who once played against you calls you “Boa Constrictor“. You are risk-averse and know how to make small mistakes fatal for your opponent, mercilessly. You could be in better health condition: You dislike sports and have a drink here and there, but hey – at least you are a non-smoker! For all the travelling we strongly recommend the Miles&More bonus program, it’s going to be worth it! Either you are already travelling the world 200 days out of the year or you’re just about to get started.


GREEN | You are Garri Kasparov


The people of your home town call you „The Beast“. Nobody is better with the Najdorf Variation of Sicilian Defense than you. Maybe you don’t

know yet, but one day you will advocate higher investments in Research and Development to increase global wealth. In case you are married to your third wife, we recommend you to not show off with your stamp collection so often.


BLUE | You are Magnus Carlsen


Congratulations! You are not only referred to as the “Mozart of Chess“ but are also incredibly sexy! To look like this you need at least ten hours of sleep a day. You hate answering questions. “I speak to the world through my moves. That explains everything” is what you state pompously. Sometimes you don’t respond at all, you just get up and leave. Even if you consider yourself the best of the best – try to not break into tears if things are not going so great at the moment. And don’t let you mother do your laundry for the rest of your life.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Legendary Artists at the Chess Board

Recently, we reported about how playing chess makes us people with ‘better’ characters. One arguments in the report focused on the fact that chess players have advanced imagination. Perfect examples for this statement are the meaningful artists of the previous centuries. Today, we will introduce you to some of these artists who committed their lives not only to art but also found time and pleasure in regular gatherings around the chess board.



Frederic Chopin (1810 – 1849)

Until today, Frederic Chopin is considered one of the most influential and popular pianists and composers of piano music. In his spare time he found enjoyment in playing billiard and chess, for which he even produced his own chess pieces.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)

The composer paved the way for Romanticism and is ubiquitous even today, as his Ninth Symphony (Joy, fair spark of the Gods) became the European anthem. One of his close friends was the inventor Johann Nepomuk Mälzel who not only invented mechanical music instruments and the Metronome but also the very first chess robot (the so-called ‘Chess Turk’) that turned out to be a fake eventually.



William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

The English dramatist, lyricist, and actor managed to make his comedies and tragedies the most performed and filmed stage plays of the world’s literature (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet). Many indicators lead to the conclusion that Shakespeare had a passion for chess, though this was never proven and therefore remains one of the many myths evolving around this icon.

Berthold Brecht (1898 – 1956)

With his plays being performed on stage all around the world (Life of Galileo Galilei, Mother Courage) Brecht became one of the most meaningful dramatists of the 20th century. All his life he enjoyed playing chess; from 1911 until 1913 he even gathered with school friends at his parents’ house every Wednesday afternoon to play chess.

Johann Friedrich Schiller (1759 – 1805)

The German poet, philosopher, and historian also liked playing chess. He gained popularity with his works Wilhelm Tell, Intrigue and Love, and Maria Stuart.



Ian Fleming (1908 – 1964)

The English author gained international recognition and appreciation through his novel and movie character James Bond. Fleming created thrilling scenes for his Agent 007 and was never able to resist a stimulating duel of checkmate.

Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)

This author is also of English origin and published works like Oliver Twist and A Christmas Tale. In his spare time, Dickens found pleasure in playing chess.

Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)

This Irish writer (The Canterville Ghost) and eloquent philosopher once stated “Talent borrows, genius steals”. Might this also have been his motto whilst playing chess?!



Madonna (born 1958)

The American singer (Like A Virgin, Vogue, Frozen, Music) is multi-talented. Being a song writer, actress, author, stage director, and designer she is as successful as being a singer. We wonder whether or not she plans her chess moves just as cleverly as her steps on the career ladder.

Bob Dylan (born 1941)

The rock musician is not only a talented singer, he also plays the guitar, the harmonica, organ, and piano. How the influential musician (Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door) managed to find time for regular duels of checkmate remains a mystery to us..

John Lennon (1940 – 1980)

The British musician, composer, author, and peace activist is popular all over the globe for being the co-founder, singer, and guitarist of the British bank The Beatles. He was also a huge chess fan, just like his second wife Yoko Ono, who, by the way, created the famous White Chess Set.

Ringo Starr (born 1940)

The British musician, composer, and actor was band colleague of John Lennon and drummer of the band The Beatles. Both were known to fight thrilling chess matches.

Frank Sinatra (1915 – 1998)

The singer and entertainer (Strangers in the Night, Moon River, My Way) was also fond of chess. In 1979 he even placed a 100,000 USD award on a single duel between World Champion Karpov and former Junior Champion Walter Browne.

Other Legends


Bill Gates (born 1955)

The company owner and programmer has been the richest man in the world with an estimated assets of 72.7 billion US Dollars. Although being known for his outstanding intelligence, Magnus Carlsen checkmated the founder of Microsoft in nine moves in January 2014.

Harry Houdini (1874 – 1926)

The American illusionist has his roots in the Austrian-Hungarian region and impresses the world’s public with his magical escape tricks until today. We don’t know whether this skill might have helped him develop creative solutions at the chessboard.

Joseph Pulitzer (1847 – 1911)

This journalist, editor, and publisher is founder of a major literature award which he also lent his name to – the Pulitzer Prize. In his leisure time he enjoyed playing chess and reading political memoirs.

Alfred Hitchcock (1899 – 1980)

Sir Alfred Hitchcock was a British film director and producer (Psycho, The Birds). His hobbies: Polo and chess!

Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519)

The Italian multi-talented painter (Mona Lisa), sculptor, architect, mechanic, engineer, and nature philosopher wrote a book about checkmate in 1500 with the help of Pacioli that is still quoted in specialists’ literature – Ludo Scacchorum.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

How Do I Improve My Ability To Concentrate?

Part 2: Creating optimal mental conditions

According to Wikipedia, concentration is defined as focusing all attention on one particular activity, reaching a short-term goal, or solving an assigned problem. It is no surprise then, that concentration in chess tournaments is one of the essential keys to success.

KonzentrationIt’s all about not getting distracted, about concentrating on the given positioning for up to six hours, about calculating, estimating, and maneuvering without straying from the subject. As this requires high intellectual effort, many players (even professionals) face problems in the persistence and continuity of keeping up concentration during such long periods of time. Even players like the grandmaster Jan Gustafsson report headaches and difficulties in concentrating after five hours.

The capability to concentrate depends on several influential factors which we will be discussing in the three parts of this month’s column: The body, the mind, and the practice.

Today, in Part 2 of the trilogy, Chessimo will in introduce you to the mental conditions that will raise concentration abilities to optimum. Who sticks to the following recommendations will be able to significantly improve their concentration in practice and at tournaments.


It has been scientifically proven that one can the maximum of concentration capacity at medium tension level. In plain language: too much tenseness and anxiety block the player’s capabilities, while too little of it can be discouraging and does not stimulate the brain in order to achieve maximum performance. The difficult task is to find the right balance. As the majority of chess players is more than likely not dealing with casualness during tournaments, we have put together a few tips for you to reduce your stress and anxiety levels before duels:

  • Place your hand flat on your stomach and feel the flow of your breath. Feel how your hand slowly lifts when you breathe in and then slowly breathe out. Try to focus on nothing but your breath and do this exercise several minutes until you feel better.
  • Close your eyes and tighten all muscles of your body for a few seconds until you feel a slight ache. Then relax the musculature and for a few minutes consciously sense this feeling. Who is familiar with Jacobson’s Progressive Muscle Relaxation is well advised to practice according to his instructions
  • Laugh! Laughing automatically helps the body reduce tenseness and leaves behind a feeling of relaxation and comfort. Who profits from this before tournaments can set up a playlist of funny videos to watch before the duels start.
  • Listen to music! Who is fond of classical music is in advantage. This type of music has been proven to relax unborn in their mothers’ wombs. Add Giovanni Allevi to the favorite playlist on your iPod and dive deep into the calming sounds 15 minutes before the tournament begins.


The more familiar one is with their surroundings, the higher the level of concentration. This is what they say in science. Supposedly, the falling level of concentration can be compensated by taking along a familiar item. A talisman next to the board can’t hurt.

Losing track of thoughts

The arch enemy of concentration is intellectual straying. One thought leads to another and one has already lost the common threat. Here is a selection of tips for those who are confronted with challenges in their lives that consume all thoughts and cannot rest for a few hours:

  • When going to bed the night before a tournament, take pen and paper and write down in bullet points all thoughts, worries, or even solutions that come to your mind spontaneously. This helps slowing down the merry go round of private and professional life. ‘Paused’ thoughts can later on be picked up again with the help of this paper.
  • Who is fighting the need to think far ahead and around many corners, needs to try to focus on the essentials of the moment during the game. Mantras like ‘Solve the problem!’ or ‘Find the best move!’ can be extraordinarily helpful to keep the head in the game and to focus on the current positioning.

Tolerance for frustration

Who has little tolerance for frustration is definitely in disadvantage. This causes concentration to break down, while all efforts to success are cut out after a moment of disappointment. Such disappointment may be defeat in practice or tournament, and even a single move that doesn’t satisfy to the fullest or triggers a countermove that hasn’t been accounted for. As long as the game isn’t lost just yet, it is not the time to bury our heads in the sand. On the contrary, one should fight the disappointment and continue the battle. To work on the tolerance for frustration and personal expectations it is important to closely watch the own attitude during each and every practice. ‘It is okay to make mistakes. I will reach my goal all the same. Now I will concentrate on solving the problem.’ Praise yourself and pat yourself on the back. Not only for victories but also for small successful steps and achievements, because every single step is a step towards your goal.

Read more about how to improve your ability to concentrate! In Part 3 we will focus on effective exercises for your daily routine ..


 written by Sarah, translated by Birthe




How Do I Improve My Ability To Concentrate?

Part 1: Creating optimal physical conditions

According to Wikipedia, concentration is defined as focusing all attention on one particular activity, reaching a short-term goal, or solving an assigned problem. It is no surprise then, that concentration in chess tournaments is one of the essential keys to success.

KonzentrationIt’s all about not getting distracted, about concentrating on the given positionings for up to six hours, about calculating, estimating, and maneuvering without straying from the subject. As this requires high intellectual effort, many players (even professionals) face problems in the persistence and continuity of keeping up concentration during such long periods of time. Even players like the grandmaster Jan Gustafsson report headaches and difficulties in concentrating after five hours.

The capability to concentrate depends on several influential factors which we will be discussing in the three parts of this month’s column: The body, the mind, and the practice.

Today, in Part 1, Chessimo will introduce you to the physical conditions that create optimal powers of concentration.

Who sticks to the following recommendations will be able to significantly improve their concentration in practice and at tournaments.


A balanced and healthy diet supports the ability to concentrate. Hereby it is important to include an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. To cover the body’s daily need, we recommend linseed oil, hempseed oil, walnut oil, and rapeseed oil for cooking. Exotic types of oil, such as chia oil, perilla oil, and sacha inchi oil contain an even larger amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish should also be a regular component of your meals: salmon, anchovy, herring, mackerel, and white tuna also contain the important fatty acids.

Evenly important is a steady supply of vitamins and nutrients, especially Vitamin B. The different types of Vitamin B are found in fish, liver products, dairy products, broccoli, spinach, and green cabbage. The Vitamin B12, by the way, cannot be found in any plant products and can only be supplied to the body through animal food products (vegetarians are advised to add nutritional supplements to their daily diet).

Another important element is a balanced blood glucose level (also known as blood sugar level). The brain is reliant on steady glucose delivery to function perfectly. Who recognizes a reduced brain performance or even suffers from shaky hands and increased perspiration, is likely to have low blood glucose level. Glucose is also referred to a dextrose and is supplied to the body by sufficient food intake. Skipping breakfast on the tournament day out of nervousness is therefore not an option. Since the blood sugar level decreases a few hours after ingestion, players should take in small snacks, such as apples or pears, during the tournament. Concentrated dextrose can also help boosting the brain performance. But as the effect diminishes quickly, it should be used only towards the end of the tournament day.


A good night sleep is essential. Tiredness limits our ability to concentrate tremendously. There is no certain answer to the question of how many hours of sleep an adult needs per night. People’s needs are as diverse as their genetic make-up. Generally, the nightly rest should last somewhere between six and eight hours. Less or more hours of sleep, can have equally negative impact on the body which is scientifically proven. One factor that is often paid too little attention to is the accordance of the sleeping and tournament rhythm.

A so-called ‘Powernap’ can also severely improve concentration during tournaments. It is a small nap during the day that lasts about 10 to 20 minutes. During this time, the cerebrum regenerates. The art is to wake up after 20 minutes, before the so-called deep sleep (REM) phase kicks in. Sleep scientists agree that such short periods of sleep improve our concentration, performance, and responsiveness (Companies like BASF, Opel, and Lufthansa even provide space and time for power-napping at the work place).


Cardio is another key element to optimal ability to concentrate. Who plays sports that require high endurance (like soccer or basketball) is already on the right track. Even better are pure endurance sports, such as hiking, walking, nordic walking, jogging, marathons, biking, ergometer training, speed skating, ice skating, swimming, cross-country, triathlons, rowing, paddling, and mountain climbing. Optimal are approximately 30 minutes per day. Who practices several of these endurance sports is recommended to be very aware of the movements and feel the body while moving. This is also not the place and time for analysis – free your mind from your thoughts and try to withdraw from the world for a while. Who is absolutely unathletic and rather avoids exercising can still make progress by juggling. It is also recommended to get up during tournaments and walk around once concentration has begun to fade.


Sufficient liquid intake is indispensable. Drinking is important before, during, and after the duel. Similar to glucose (see 1st subtopic), players are advised to forego beverages with caffeine, such as coffee, coke, and energy drinks, as the energy boost is only a short-term effect.

Read more about how to improve your ability to concentrate! In Part 2 we will focus on the mind and psyche..

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe


5 Hollywood Divas at the Chess Board

Some of the greatest and most popular actresses of all time share(d) the love of our hobby: Checkmate.
As opponents on the board they do not only offer a pretty view – the actresses were actually pretty good player. A duel would be worth every minute of your precious time.
Which Hollywood celebrity (dead or alive) would you like to compete aginast?


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn MonroeThe film icon certainly swept her opponents off the board with her irresistable charm.
Who tries to fit Marilyn in the image of the tender and superficial beauty may want to reconsider his or her opinion. The sex symbol had an IQ of 168 with which she outpaces Albert Einstein and Bill Gates.


Julia Roberts

Julia RobertsThe “Pretty Woman” is a passionate player who wishes to have access to chess equipment in her trailer during the making of her movies.
Who would deny the lady with the most charming smile in all of Hollywood a duel of checkmate during her break?

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene DietrichThe actress who was actually born in Germany (1904-1992) loved chess and played well and often, sometimes even against John Wayne. Next to film sets, she liked to spend her time ar tournaments, such as
the “Hollywood Pan-American Chess Tournament”.


Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa GaborThe former Hungarian beauty queen is so enthusiastic about chess that she even played against Geroge Sanders on her honeymoon.
Prince Frederik von Anhalt, by the way, is currently the 8th husband of the 97 year-old. Whether or not he has proven to be a worthy opponent is unknown.


Liv Tyler

Liv TylerThe beautiful actress of “The Lord of the Rings” was the face of a G-Star campaign in 2010, next to the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen. A few months ago, the two fought an
official duel of checkmate. At which side of the board would you have preferred to be?

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

10 reasons why playing chess makes you a better person

bessere MenschenChess demands and develops a large number of positive characteristics. Who mainly thinks of calculating skills and concentration, underestimated the impact of chess on our personal abilities and character. Today, Chessimo reports about numerous advantages and ‘secondary virtues’ that come with our favorite of sports.

Chess Players are more successful in school and their professional career

We improve our key qualifications. Model experiments show that students who play chess overcome communication barriers among themselves quickly and outsiders manage to enhance their social interactions to outgrow isolation. Furthermore, we train our abilities such as assertiveness, patience, our competence to judge and to make decisions.

Chess players increase their social intelligence

Especially people who are socially troubled and don’t manage to integrate have made great progress through checkmate. This is proven by studies performed in jails, with drug addicts, and highly gifted, hyperactive, or autistic children.

Chess players enhance their cognitive capabilities

Through playing chess, enormous increases in performance concerning reading and listening comprehension, imagination, and mathematics were scientifically recognized.

Chess players like to develop their own personalities

We are eager to learn, practice, and improve our skills continuously. A rolling stone gathers no moss!

Chess players can bear success and failure

There are no elements of chance in this game – all outcomes can be led back to our own abilities and actions. After every game we analyze our mistakes and practice self-criticism and problem solving.

Chess players are more imaginative

We are constantly inspired to think for ourselves, as there is never the one ‘right’ move for a particular challenge. We train, amongst other things, spatial reception and become creative when it comes to surprising the opponent.

Chess players tend to be proactive

We practice our skill to recognize patterns and evaluate every move in terms of consequences and possible reactions of our opponent. Therefore, we develop our logical and methodical thinking capabilities, as well as the art of predicting.

Chess player are persistent

We learn to keep up concentration over a long period of time. What other sport makes you focus for six hours in high concentration?!

Chess players stay mentally young

We delay cognitive decline in old age. Doctors in New York found out that chess helps prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia disorders much more effectively than all other physical exercise. Our mind is excellently trained in the long run.

Chess player have strong self-esteem

We are lucky to enjoy ‘intellectual prestige’ through our sport. Especially students who started to play chess have been able to clearly enhance their self-esteem. People with little self-esteem tend to downgrade their own success by owing it to luck or chance. These excuses are invalid in chess. They are rewarded with recognition and approval that may have been denied to them previously.

Picture: www.estes-ecg.com

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe



Presidential Election of the World Chess Association

Does the chess legend Garri Kasparov use dubious practices to become new president of the World Association FIDE? According to the ‘New York Times’, an agreement with the current FIDE general-secretary was set up that gives reason to question the integrity of Kasparov’s candidacy in the presidential election.

Garri Kasparov

The former chess world champion Garri Kasparov has always been fighting against corruption in his sport. Nevertheless, the 50 year-old is now accused of using doubtful methods in the election process. The ‘New York Times’ reports that the Russian Kasparov is not going a candidly way to become the head of the Chess World Association FIDE.

When Kasparov announced his president candidacy this past October he named several possible candidates for leading positions in the worldwide daughter associations. He nominated Ignatius Leong for Asia, the FIDE general-secretary who is currently living in Singapore – and is also in service of the president Kirsan Iljumschinov at the moment. Despite many inconsistencies concerning his last reelection in 2010, he will Kasparov’s competitor in the 2014 election. Leong has switched sides; according to the ‘New York Times’ he apparently received 500,000 USD for this act.

There was supposedly a deal between the two, guaranteeing Kasparov the help of Leong in becoming the new FIDE president. Further part of this agreement is the opening of a new office in Singapore, under direction of Leong, in case Kasparov is actually elected president.

The draft contract was set up by Kasparov’s lawyer, the Norwegian Morten Sand who has confirmed its existence to the ‘New York Times‘. Though, on Kasparov’s official website, the lawyer denies that the amount of 500,000 USD is to only Leong’s benefit. Instead, it is for the sport of chess itself.

Kasparov’s public announcer Mig Greengard has not commented the draft contract until now, but promised the publication of the document on Friday. In the presidential election every country of FIDE membership has one vote, and Kasparov had continuously criticized the lack of transparency in the election process.


Source: Spiegel Online 

Picture: Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP / Getty

translated by Birthe


Grazer Chess Open

Grazer Chess Open

This year the Grazer Chess Open is carried out in the very center of Graz. In the premises of the casino and Joanneum District heads have been spinning since Friday, February 14th. The event is, amongst others, sponsored by the city of Graz, the Graz Tourism, and several private sponsors. About 150 participants from 30 nations all around the world are participating in the contest. The list of participants includes 11 grandmasters and many further international title holders.

It is an extraordinarily strong field of competitors with also many teenagers and several women. Duels are fought in two groups, of which Group A’s duels can mostly be streamed online in real time. The live stream into the gaming hall gives a special feeling of being right in the middle of the tournament. After four rounds have been played, we can proudly announce the lead of an Austrian player in the A-Tournament!

Grandmaster Markus Ragger (Austria’s number 1) leads after four rounds, followed by the Indian grandmaster Negi Parimarjan. The two are ahead off the Turkish grandmaster Haznedaroglu Kivanc, the Armenian grandmaster Melkumyan Hrant, and the Argentinian grandmaster Felgaer Ruben. The top-favorite player of the tournament is the Chinese Li Chao who currently ranks 11th.

After four rounds in the B-Tournament, Hannes Riedrich leads ahead off Franz Kerschenbauer – both Austrian players – followed by a competitor from Bosnia-Herzegovina. From Monday (February 17th) until Thursday (February 20th) all competitions will take place at 5 p.m. The final round is fought out on Friday, February 21st, at 10 a.m.

Picture: www.chessgraz.com

Author: Mag. Andrea Schmidt, translated by Birthe

Everybody speaks about soccer – except for Magath

The direct bank Barclaycard supports chess in schools for that students can develop educational competences in a playful way. Therefore, it called into life the chess tournament ‘Yes2Chess’ with Felix Magath as the main sponsor. In the Axel-Springer-Passage, a famous German publication, the soccer coach will not only discuss soccer but also chess.

Felix Magath

“For more than 35 years I have been a great fan of chess and want to pass on my enthusiasm to young people. Yes2Chess is an ideal way of doing that. Students, male and female, have the opportunity to participate in an international chess tournament, learn new skills, prove their abilities in competition, and have lots of fun with their friends. Personally, I have taken along many valuable elements from chess to soccer. For instance, that every action must be reasonable, that, if possible, every move should be a challenge to the competitor. Translated into soccer that means: The ability to reduce the power of chance. That it is crucial to keep a high pace and still remain in control. Chess teaches us that strategic thinking can be fun and that it supports social abilities of children and teenagers. Therefore, I wish that as many students as possible take this chance and participate in Yes2Chess.”

Sponsor ‘Yes2Chess’, Felix Magath


Picture: Dagobert Kohlmeyer

Written by Philipp, translated by Birthe